I hope you saw today’s game, because as opposed to yesterday’s sloppy snoozefest – this was sports drama at its very best. Lightning interrupted a pitcher’s duel, and Coach Avent made the classy, selfless choice and correctly pulled Carlos Rodon. You don’t play Russian Roulette with a left arm that will likely be the #1 overall pick if it stays healthy. Coach Avent showed his “players first” dedication when he firmly and flatly declared that he never even considered returning him to the mound.
Karma owed Avent a good turn, and on several occasions, it looked like he would get it. The Pack Nine came back from 4-0, 6-5, and 7-6 deficits, even ever-so-briefly taking a 5-4 lead. Sadly, the 9-7 10th inning deficit was one run too many, and a terrible third strike call ended NC State’s season.
That said, it’s hard to imagine being more pleased after a gut-wrenching postseason loss. The UConn game Hodge’s freshman year, and this March’s narrow loss to Kansas come to mind. Our Pack Nine battled their asses off, and represented NC State University in sterling fashion. With many key cogs coming back (several of said cogs were freshmen), we have every reason to expect Omaha in our near future. Hell, I might even manage to pay attention before May next season.